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You readers are a funny bunch. On the one hand, I’m glad you’re here, because I like being read, but on the other hand, you drive me nuts.

Sometimes I want to sit down with each of you and ask: what do you want?

The trouble with blogging is that you’re given free reign to write about what you want until readers show up and tell you otherwise. So who should I write for? About 20% of my readers are in Thailand.

People seem to have higher expectations of me as an individual than they do other bloggers. I should be flattered, but I'm exhausted. I'm in an office most of the hours I'm awake and the rest of the time I'm making money writing for other people. There isn't much time for me to be out there doing investigative blogging.

Also, I’m not targeting keywords any more. Just because I mention things like “porn”, “bar girls” and “Pattaya” does not mean I am trying to rank for them. There’s no point. People build their livelihoods on targeting those highly competitive keywords. I got lucky with “ladyboys” and used the experience to learn a lot about SEO, but I don’t need to do that now; not here.

I’m grateful to everyone who reads this blog, but sometimes you drive me crazy. The top 100 is a prime example. It was supposed to be a bit of fun. As link bait, it’s done all right and I hope to see the list grow. I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

I feel like a disappointing son. I’m at my wit’s end today.

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9 thoughts on “Readers

  1. Personally I love your blog. We recently went to Thailand on vacation and your blog keeps me in touch and learning more about an amazing place that I hope to visit one day again soon.

    Forget what others say and keep doing what you do best.

  2. Maybe you're taking it too seriously Matt. It's just a blog. That post about the clown in Pattaya was begging for a full range of comments. Posts like that are a good way to get the traffic up but it quickly turns into mangosauce.

  3. Matt, you make a good point (as always).

    If a newspaper or magazine doesn't know who its readers are and what they want then it will not survive very long. Not just from the financial side (for those who blog for money) but also from the visitors numbers and feedback / comments from those who do it for fun. Would you or I still blog like we do if no one was reading and commenting? I think we would lose interest very quickly.

    Blogs are similar and bloggers are publishers too, just like newspaper and magazine publishers.

  4. Every blog exposes, but keep your cool Matt, nothing to worry about or feel guilty off.

    Some fellow-bloggers are obviously jealous.

    Others don't master the art of controversy and getting linked.

  5. Your posts appear to be what ever just pops up in your head that day, kinda like kitty's blog, but are actually enjoyable to read. Maybe if you blogged about stuff that wasn't blatantly obvious and provided some real content people might have more respect.

    Just my one bahts worth….

  6. Matt,

    I have a blog that gets a bit of readership as well. One difference is that I write mine entirely for fun, with no intention of earning money. I don't know if that matters or not.

    Occasionally people tell me what they want my blog to be — or not to be (it happened again today, in fact). I occasionally get requests from readers telling me what they'd like me to write about. Even more unusual, I think, is that friends will talk to me on the phone or over a beer and say, "Oh, here's something you may want to put on the blog…" and proceed to tell me a story that they find fascinating.

    But the blog is about MY life, so all of that gets ignored.

    I write about what interests ME, and pay no attention to the wishes of my readers. People who like what I like will read. Amazingly, a lot of other people seem to read as well, judging by the number of people who want to tell me that they read my blog every day and I'm doing it all wrong.

    My free advice to you is not to worry about your readers… do what pleases YOU and the readers who want what you're doing will find you.

    I put a lot of effort into my blog, and I care about it, but I don't "take it seriously". It's just a blog.

    I thought your top 100 was a great idea, and it should definitely be a bit of fun. Again, focus on making your blog YOUR creation and don't worry much (hell, don't worry at all) about advice from others.

    I'd never make my blog the way you make yours. I don't like your logo, I don't like your colors, I don't understand the 'inadvertently offensive' tag, you talk about tech stuff I don't understand, you have the Twitter thing on the side that I don't understand and your blogs are shorter than I like and lacking in detail (maybe that's what Paul meant by 'content', I don't know).

    But I am checking your blog several times a week now!

    Don't change a thing unless it's for yourself. Have fun. As our Thai friends say, "Don't be too seriout!" The blog should be a reflection of you, and if it is, then people will enjoy it.

    And never forget… advice is worth what you pay for it.

    Good luck and have fun.


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